The debate rages on – Appellation (region where the grapes are grown) or Grape varietal or Both – New World wines depend on grape listing with secondary consideration of the region where the wines were grown. Recently, and apparently quietly, a state appeals court in Sacramento, CA rejected the arguments of Bronco Wine Co. in its fight to use the word “Napa” on wines that don’t always contain grapes grown in California’s Napa Valley wine region ; The makers of Two Buck Up-Chuck (I hate the stuff and no, I’m not an “expensive” wine drinking bigot) were trying to use “Napa” on the label of their wine (Napa Ridge, Rutherford Vintners) when the state requires 75% of the grapes be from that region in order to call it “Napa” – which these wines didn’t have.
No matter what people tell you, appellation does matter. For Old World wines its a matter of predictability in the taste of the wine. For New World wines, its a matter of marketing power. Fred Franzia (owner of the wine producer) knows that and is trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of his wines for it. It didn’t work, and it doesn’t look like appeals will work either, but in the end, one way or another, appellation always matters.
Court Rejects Vintner’s Bid to Use ‘Napa’ – LA Times article